Have you ever heard the Twitter disclaimer, “Retweets are not endorsements”? Presumably a user with that in his profile feels that if he forwards on someone else’s tweet to his followers, that tweet should not be viewed as his opinion, or one that he endorses. Well to one NCAA coach at least, retweets are endorsements, and can keep you from being recruited by a powerhouse football school like Penn State.
The coach in question is Herb Hand, Offensive Line Coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team. In his own words today, he posted the following on Twitter:
Dropped another prospect this AM due to his social media presence…Actually glad I got to see the ‘real’ person before we offered him.
— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) July 30, 2014
Later, he issued the following clarification to 247 Sports, which he also tweeted out:
“If a guy makes the decision to post or RT stuff that degrades women, references drug use or cyber-bullying crap then I can make the decision to drop them.”
(above emphasis ours)
He is deliberately including retweets in his quote as a message to prospects in our opinion. We look at teens’ Twitter accounts all the time, and often the poster’s own content is clean, but many of his retweets are inappropriate material. Make no mistake that when you retweet something, at least some coaches are viewing is as a mark against you and your reputation.
NFL teams are looking at social media as a test of a player’s character as well, as outlined in that article on Bleacher Report.
“We have every tweet they have ever made,” said one front-office executive who requested anonymity for competitive reasons. “When we interview them, we’ll ask them about their tweets. Some of them tweet about drugs, about ‘bitches.’ It’s unbelievable.”
On the topic of retweets, if a young player tweets something inappropriate, then quickly decides to delete it, it will be gone forever unless someone else retweeted it in the interim, in which case the player is out of luck.
Twitter is a very popular platform for athletes starting as early as junior high school. We aren’t saying that young athletes shouldn’t be using Twitter, but rather they must be very careful keeping everything that they post on the platform is grandma-approved.
For parents of players who want to be sure they’re in the clear, ThirdParent can help.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.